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Bechstein Bats (c) John Altringham Clark-Bat Conservation Trust
A radiotracking study on Bechstein’s bats was undertaken at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s reserve to assess the impacts of woodland management on these rare bats. A full article by Elizabeth Pimley, Eric Palmer, Giles Sutton, Nick Downs & Johnny Birks can be found in the Mammal Society’s ‘Mammal News’ Summer 2018 Issue 181. We provide a summary and reference list below.
Grafton Wood Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire is an ancient semi-natural broad-leaved woodland nature reserve jointly owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) and Butterfly Conservation. During Bat Conservation Trust surveys in 2010 Worcestershire Bat Group discovered a maternity colony of the rare Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) in Grafton Wood, which lies at the northern edge of this species’ known British range. Subsequently, WWT requested that a study be undertaken to examine how these woodland-dependant bats were using the woodland to inform habitat management practices, which included the creation and maintenance of woodland glades and open rides. The information from the study would enable WWT to adapt any habitat management that could negatively impact on the Bechstein’s bat population and undertake habitat enhancements for this species. Consequently, a radio-tracking study of Bechstein’s bats in Grafton Wood was undertaken by a team of voluntary bat surveyors led by Eric Palmer and Johnny Birks to identify foraging areas and roost sites in and around the reserve. This work was funded by a grant from People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
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Dietz, M. & Pir, J. B. 2011. Distribution, Ecology and Habitat Selection by Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) in Luxembourg. Okologie der Saugetiere 6 Bielefeld, Laurenti Verlag Publishers.
Downs, N. C., Cresswell, W. J., Reason, P., Sutton, G., Wells, D., Williams, L. & Wray, S. 2016. Activity patterns and use of night roosts by lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros (Borkhausen, 1797). Acta Chiropterologica. 18(1): 223-237.
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Kerth, G., Mayer, F. & Kőnig, B. 2000 Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) reveals that female Bechstein’s bats live in closed societies. Molecular Ecology, 9: 793-800.
Kerth, G., Wagner, M. & Konig, B. 2001a. Roosting together, foraging apart: information transfer about food is unlikely to explain sociality in female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis bechsteini). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. 50(3): 283-291.
Kerth, G., Weissmann, K. & Konig, B. 2001b. Day roost selection in female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis bechsteinii): a field experiment to determine the influence of roost temperature. Oecologia. 126(1): 1-9.
Kerth, G. & Reckardt, K. 2003 Information transfer about roosts in female Bechstein’s bats: an experimental field study. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 270: 511-515.
Kerth, G., Kiefer, A., Trappmann, C. & Weishaar, M. 2003. High gene diversity at swarming sites suggest hot spots for gene flow in the endangered Bechstein’s bat. Conservation Genetics. 4(4): 491-499.
Kerth, G. & Morf, L. 2004. Behavioural and genetic data suggest that Bechstein’s bats predominantly mate outside the breeding habitat. Ethology 110:987–999
Kerth, G. & Melber, M. 2009. Species-specific barrier effects of a motorway on the habitat use of two threatened forest-living bat species. Biological Conservation. 142(2): 270-279.
Kerth, G., Perony, N. Schweizer, F. 2011. Bats are able to maintain long-term social relationships despite the high fission-fusion dynamics of their groups. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 278: 2761-2767.
Kerth, G. & Van Schaik, J. 2012. Causes and consequences of living in closed societies: lessons from a long-term socio-genetic study on Bechstein’s bats. Molecular Ecology 21(3): 633-646.
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Napal, M., Garin, I., Goiti, U., Salsamendi, E. & Aihartza, J. 2012. Past deforestation of Mediterranean Europe explains the present distribution of the strict forest dweller Myotis bechsteinii. Forest Ecology and Management, 293: 161-170.
Napal, M., Garin, I., Goiti, U., Salsamendi, E. & Aihartza, J. 2009. Selection of maternity roosts by Myotis bechsteinii (Kuhl, 1817) in the Southwestern Iberian Peninsula. Acta Chiropterologica. 11(2): 425-433.
Palmer, E,. Pimley, E., Sutton, G. & Birks, J. 2013. A study on the population size, foraging range and roosting ecology of Bechstein’s bats at Grafton Wood SSSI, Worcestershire. A Report to People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.
Pimley, E. R., Bearder, S. K. And Dixson, A. F. 2005. Home range analysis of Perodicticus potto and Sciurocheirus cameronensis. International Journal of Primatology 26(1): 191-205.
Poulton, S. M.C. 2006. An Analysis of the usage of Bat Boxes in England, Wales and Ireland for the Vincent Wildlife Trust.
Reckardt, K. & Kerth, G. 2007. Roost selection and roost switching of female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis bechsteinii) as a strategy of parasite avoidance. Oecologia. 154: 581-588.
Schofield, H. & Morris, C. 2000. Ranging behaviour and Habitat Preferences of Female Bechstein’s bat, Myotis bechsteinii (Kuhl, 1818) in summer. With a review of its status, distribution, behaviour and ecology. in the UK. Vincent Wildlife Trust report.
Siemens, B. & Swift, S. M. 2006. Differences in sensory ecology contribute to resource partitioning in the bats Myotis bechsteinii and Myotis nattereri (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 59: 373–380
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Wright, P.G.R., Hamilton, P. B., Schofield, H., Glover, A., Damant, C., Davidson-Watts, I., Mathews, F. 2018. Genetic structure of a rare woodland bat, Myotis bechsteinii: comparison of continental Europe and Britain. Conservation Genetics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-018-1053-z.